Origin flat as market waits for sell-down
ORIGIN Energy reported flat production and revenue for the December half, following the sale of a small slice of its Queensland export gas project along with maintenance at offshore projects in Australia and New Zealand.
Production fell 5 per cent to 62 petajoules, with revenue slipping 1 per cent to $424.7 million. These figures cover its exploration and production arm, but exclude energy generation and sales.
"There was no update on the sell-down, and that is what the market is waiting for," one analyst said, referring to the planned sale of additional equity in its Queensland export gas project.
"We will have to wait for the half-year numbers for that, and an update on capital spending."
Origin is to release its December half-year results on February 21.
Analysts are forecasting year to June earnings per share of around 73¢, down from 82¢ last year, following its earlier profit warning, with the focus on any blowout in the cost of its Queensland gas project, along with efforts to protect its position in the retail electricity market.
Origin said the upstream portion of the export gas project was 29 per cent complete with the downstream portion 31 per cent complete.
To date, 209 wells have been drilled of the 1100 needed for the initial phase of the project.
The recent heavy rain in Queensland has interrupted some work, with workers evacuated from Curtis Island for a time, and drilling halted for three days.
The Condamine River continues to rise which may affect the Talinga processing plant, which backs onto the river.
Origin shares rallied 16¢ to close at $12.61, continuing to recover from last year's profit warning.